US technology giant Apple has said it started assembling its iPhone 14 in India, world's second-largest smartphone market, to shift some production away from China.
Apple partner Foxconn, which makes the majority of the world's iPhones, is producing the device at its Sriperumbudur factory near Chennai, marking the first time the company has shifted production from China to India this quickly after the launch of a new iPhone.
The Cupertino-based giant began locally assembling smartphones in India in 2017, but those were older models.
The marquee device will go on sale in India later this year, according to TechCrunch.
JPMorgan said this month that Apple will move 5 percent of its global iPhone 14 production to India by late 2022, and could move 25 percent of its entire iPhone production line to the country by 2025.
As part of their "China-plus one" or "China-plus two" strategy, major companies are now looking at India.
Apple, which still relies heavily on China for the majority of iPhone production, is seeking alternatives as Xi Jinping's administration clashes with the US government and imposes lockdowns, hurting economic activities.
The presence of the foreign production giants, coupled with ample labour resources and competitive labour costs, make India a desirable location, JP Morgan said.
Also, the country has attracted investments from Apple manufacturing partners Foxconn and Wistron in recent years by offering lucrative subsidies.
Many hope Apple will make its handsets affordable in India as the company expands its manufacturing capacity in the country.
The base iPhone 14 model, which is priced at $799 in the US, costs 79,900 Indian rupees ($980); the entry iPhone Pro Max model costs $1,717 in India, compared to its $1,099 sticker price in the US, according to TechCrunch.